Thoughtful Response to My Paper

I appreciate the warm way Bob Maunder, MD FRCPC, recently welcomed my paper. As Head of Psychiatry Research, Sinai Health System, Bob regularly sends out papers published by staff in our department to the rest of the department, accompanied by a short, thoughtful introduction. Bob is also Chair in Health and Behaviour and Deputy Psychiatrist-in-Chief, Sinai Health System, and Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto. 

Bill Gayner has been working on a labour of love, a paper about his development of emotion-focused mindfulness therapy, for a while, and it is great to see it in print at last. The paper provides a theoretical background for this new mindfulness-based intervention, describes its development and how it is implemented, and presents a case. I particularly appreciated Bill’s description of the development of the idea on pages 11 and 12. “The development of EFMT was inspired by research colleagues and I conducted on MBSR for gay men living with HIV. When we compared our data to pooled samples of mixed medical and cancer patients… our baseline mindfulness was so far below the pooled data that even though we had the same amount of pre-post change they did, our post-group mean was statistically below their baseline. This led me to reflect more deeply on how to adapt mindfulness to better address interactions between the psychological effects of internalized stigma… and the developmental traumas prevalent in this population. I explored integrating self-compassion techniques, emotional alchemy and acceptance and commitment therapy… It was only when I began reflecting on recollective awareness meditation from an emotion-focused perspective that I realized that wise compassion is empathic, involving not only feeling moved by suffering, wishing it be alleviated, and wanting to help, but also the ability to follow thoughts and feelings in oneself and others with kindness…” 

Bill Gayner Emotion-focused mindfulness therapy
Person-Centered & Experiential Psychotherapies, DOI: 10.1080/14779757.2019.1572026, 2019 

Robert Maunder MD FRCPC
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Twitter: @boiby